cAMP-dependent regulation of cardiac L-type Ca2+ channels requires membrane targeting of PKA and phosphorylation of channel subunits

Neuron. 1997 Jul;19(1):185-96. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(00)80358-x.


The cardiac L-type Ca2+ channel is a textbook example of an ion channel regulated by protein phosphorylation; however, the molecular events that underlie its regulation remain unknown. Here, we report that in transiently transfected HEK293 cells expressing L-type channels, elevations in cAMP resulted in phosphorylation of the alpha1C and beta2a channel subunits and increases in channel activity. Channel phosphorylation and regulation were facilitated by submembrane targeting of protein kinase A (PKA), through association with an A-kinase anchoring protein called AKAP79. In transfected cells expressing a mutant AKAP79 that is unable to bind PKA, phosphorylation of the alpha1C subunit and regulation of channel activity were not observed. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that the association of an AKAP with PKA was required for beta-adrenergic receptor-mediated regulation of L-type channels in native cardiac myocytes, illustrating that the events observed in the heterologous expression system reflect those occurring in the native system. Mutation of Ser1928 to alanine in the C-terminus of the alpha1C subunit resulted in a complete loss of cAMP-mediated phosphorylation and a loss of channel regulation. Thus, the PKA-mediated regulation of L-type Ca2+ channels is critically dependent on a functional AKAP and phosphorylation of the alpha1C subunit at Ser1928.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Channels / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Cyclic AMP / pharmacology*
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / physiology*
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology*
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Phosphorylation


  • Calcium Channels
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases